The Taliban 2:0 have resumed public executions similar to their previous rule in the 1990s. The high-ranking officials of the Taliban personally attend the place of corporal punishment of the convicted civilians and invited spectators to watch the flogging. The order issued by Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s secretive leader, regarding the implementation of “Qisas punishment or retribution in kind” has been implemented in the last two weeks. So that in the span of two weeks, the Taliban have flogged 75 suspects in public and shot dead one suspect under the name of “retaliation or retribution in kind” by the hands of the victim’s father.
Although the United Nations and other human rights defenders have called the implementation of “Qisas punishment” a violation of human rights, having asked to stop this process, the Taliban have not paid any attention to these demands. However, political experts and international institutions advocating for human rights have described the Taliban’s disregard for the wishes of the international community as the incompatibility of this group with the internationally accepted values and principles of human rights.
According to the available statistics, during the past two weeks, the Taliban have publicly tried 75 people in Kabul, Logar, Farah, Ghor, Paktika, Nangarhar provinces and some other parts of the country, and hundreds of spectators were invited to watch these scenes.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, published a statement on Twitter, saying that the Qisas punishment was executed on one person based on the verdict of the court in Farah province. “God’s order (retribution) was implemented on a murderer on Wednesday in the center of Farah province,” his statement read as such. In this statement, it is said that the person who was punished was named Taj Mir and he confessed to his crime. He added that this sentence was executed by the “father of the victim” in the presence of Taliban officials and hundreds of spectators by firing a bullet using a Kalashnikov rifle.
In the public execution of Taj Mir, Abdul Hakim Haqqani, Taliban’s Chief Justice, Abdul Ghani Baradar, Economic Deputy Prime Minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, Acting Minister of Interior, Mohammad Khaled Hanafi, Acting Minister of Vice and Virtue, Amir Khan Muttaqi, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Habibullah Agha, Acting Minister of Education of the Taliban and a bunch of other members of the Taliban leadership, including their spokesperson, were present.
In addition to imposing extensive restrictions and public trials of those accused of various crimes in the past, the Taliban have also made this an entertainment for thousands of hungry and poor spectators throughout the country.
The Taliban have publicly flogged 18 men and women in Parwan province on Thursday in Charikar football stadium, the capital city of Parwan province. These people received between 29 and 35 lashes each for various crimes, including theft, being in premarital relationship, and running away from home. Hundreds of spectators, including the Taliban’s local officials, were also present at the flogging ceremony.
At the same time, the Taliban lashed three men in Paktia province on Thursday. The Taliban gave each of these men 39 lashes and members of the Taliban emphasized that another public trial would be held in the coming days. In addition, the Taliban publicly whipped a woman and two men on the charge of having premarital relationships in Goshta district, Nangarhar province on Tuesday.
Last week, the Taliban publicly flogged a woman and six men in Ghor province. These people were flogged on Sunday in Firouzkoh city, the capital city of Ghor province, for the crime of having premarital relations, moral crimes and drinking alcohol.
The Taliban’s Supreme Court also announced earlier that it had punished 21 men and women in Kabul. In the statement of the Taliban court, it has been said that these people were arrested and “punished” on charges of “debauchery, being in premarital relations, fraud, theft, selling alcohol and gay sex”. According to the statement, there were 15 men and 6 women among them.
Following these punishments, three men were flogged by the Taliban in Paktika province. These people were flogged 35 to 39 times each in the football stadium of Sharan city after being accused of theft on Monday.
On Thursday, one day before the International Day for the End of Violence Against Women, the Taliban lashed a man and a woman 30 lashes each in Darqad district of Takhar province on the charge of having premarital affairs. A day before this incident, a young man was also flogged by this group in public.
On Wednesday, the Taliban publicly flogged a boy and a young girl for allegedly talking on the phone in Mehtarlam city, the capital city of Laghman province. The Taliban said that talking on the phone causes “proliferation and promotion of prostitution”.
Following the continuation of public and arbitrary trials, the Taliban in Logar province flogged 12 people, including three women, on the charge of having premarital relations. According to sources, the Taliban tried these people on Wednesday at the Logar sports stadium. The Taliban gave each of these people between 21 and 39 lashes on charges of adultery, gay sex and theft.
On Tuesday, the Taliban tried a girl and a boy on the charge of talking on the phone in the mosque of Shahre Wahdat, the vicinity of Argo district, Badakhshan province. Taliban members gave each of them 39 lashes. Before this, more than 50 citizens were tried in public in different provinces of the country.
The Resumption of Strict Punishment Laws Similar to the 1990s
The majority of citizens and a number of ambassadors and representatives of western countries for Afghanistan consider the public executions carried out by the Taliban to be a return to the past and “the completion of the Talibanization of Afghanistan”. However, citizens believe that there has been no change in the behavior of the Taliban, and that the Taliban, like in 1996 to 2001, under the name of Qisas punishment, punishes the convicts harshly and inhumanely. A number of these citizens, who do not want to be identified in the report due to fear of the Taliban, told Hasht-e Subh that these “Taliban punishments” are against fair trial procedures and a serious violation of human rights.
Taliban’s Reactions to Concerns Raised by Rights Advocates
The Taliban have called the reaction of Western countries and human rights advocates to public executions an insult to Islam. This group has said that flogging in public is an adaptation of religion and calling it inhumane is an insult and disrespect to Islam.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson of the Taliban, in a statement on Twitter on Friday, condemned the statements of the spokesperson of the United Nations and a number of Western countries and called it disrespectful to the religion of Islam. In addition, Inamullah Samangani, head of the Taliban Information and Media Center, congratulated human rights supporters on the public execution of a man in Farah. “Since Qisas is a great Islamic principle, the pain of secular human rights advocates from its implementation is understandable. I offer my condolences to them,” Samangani tweeted.
International Reactions to Public Executions
Following the Taliban’s move to publicly execute convicts, the United Nations, Amnesty International and a bunch of representatives and ambassadors of European countries for Afghanistan have considered it a serious violation of human rights and demanded that the Taliban respect human rights and Afghanistan’s international obligations.
At the same time, Stephanie Tremblay, Associate Spokesperson for the Secretary-General at United Nation, said that the organization is very concerned about the first execution in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover. “Today we express our deep concern about public executions in Afghanistan,” she said in a press conference on Wednesday. “Our position is that the United Nations is against the death penalty and we want to return to the moratorium on the death penalty.”
Amnesty International also condemned the “retribution” of a person in Farah province and called it “gross affront to human dignity”. On Wednesday, the group said that this act is a gross insult to human dignity.
Following the domestic and foreign reactions to the revenge of an accused in Farah, the French ambassador has said that the Talibanization of Afghanistan has been completed with this event. David Martinon, the French ambassador to Afghanistan, said on Wednesday night on twitter that following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, he had given warnings about the Talibanization of the country.
Before this, Rina Amiri, the special representative of the US Department of State for Human Rights and Women’s Affairs of Afghanistan, in a tweet called the Taliban’s flogging of the accused as the return of this group to its original version. She said that flogging is “terrible and a dangerous sign of rebellion against the world”. Amiri added that this group did not face a good end in the first round of their rule by implementing this policy, and this time the country is on a dangerous path.
The German Embassy in Afghanistan has considered flogging people publicly as a “heinous violation of human dignity”. On Monday, the embassy said in a tweet: “The Taliban are also obliged to respect international law and the United Nations Convention against Torture.”
Thomas Nicholson, the EU’s special representative for Afghanistan, tweeted on Saturday, saying that the Taliban have made serious setbacks in respect of human rights since August last year. According to Nicholson, corporal punishment is a form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment that is prohibited by the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.